News and Press Releases

Sex Offender Sentenced To More Than 17 Years In Prison For Distributing Child Pornography

May 20, 2014

OAKLAND – Terry Howell was sentenced yesterday to 210 months in prison for distribution of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Tatum King, Acting Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Francisco.

Howell pleaded guilty on Feb. 10, 2014, to distributing child pornography to a person in another state, using his e-mail account. According to the plea agreement, Howell also admitted that he received child pornography images and videos through his email account on five occasions. Howell admitted that his cellular telephone, at the time he was arrested, contained over 80 videos and over 550 images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, including minors being subjected to sadistic conduct.

Court documents indicate that Howell was trading child pornography materials with another man who had two prior convictions for child pornography offenses, and that Howell’s email messages contained graphic descriptions of his desire to commit extreme violence against a child. At the time Howell committed the child pornography offenses charged in this case, he had prior convictions for sexual offenses against a child.

“This case should serve as a stern warning to those who mistakenly believe cyberspace affords them anonymity and they can use the Internet to sexually exploit children with impunity,” said Tatum King, acting special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE Homeland Security Investigations HSI. “Online predators should be on notice that ICE Homeland Security Investigations will do everything in its power and use every tool at its disposal to track them down and ensure that they are brought to justice.”

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Claudia Wilken, Chief United States District Court Judge, following a guilty plea to a violation of distribution of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2252(a)(2). Judge Wilken also sentenced Howell to a ten year period of supervised release. Special conditions of Howell’s supervised release include: sex offender-specific treatment; registration with the state sex offender registration agency; suspicionless search of Howell’s residence and property; and no contact with any child under the age of 18. The defendant has remained in custody since his arrest on Sept. 13, 2013, and will begin serving the sentence immediately.

Christina McCall is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Vanessa Quant and Noble Hughes. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by ICE HSI.

(Howell indictment )



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